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While on a hunting and fishing trip with her fiance’s family at Three Forks Ranch, just outside of Steamboat Colorado, Mara Millich decided to photograph the wild and strange landscape that surrounded her; she came away with a striking collection of images now put together in an unforgettable series entitled, Elevated.
Millich studied photography at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and first gained recognition for her work when she submitted the above image to a university contest for the School of Art and Design. Students had to submit a photograph that showed a puzzle or an enigma, Millich’s won first prize, inspiring her decision to go forward with her own showcase. In a statement taken from her website, she says of the photograph, “[It was taken] just as a storm rolled over the mountains. The moment itself felt as if it was stage by some sort of ethereal being. The wind stopped, the birds quit singing, and the clouds exhaled this perfect ray of light above a bend in the river.”
Before her trip to Colorado, she admits that she was “not an outdoor person.” In fact she began her career in photography shooting rock bands in Detroit. While this series is a vast leap from her early portfolio, it’s clear that it could be where Millich has found her niche.
Sparkling rivers, sweeping fields and dense forests lend themselves to be photographed, but Millich’s keen eye and thoughtful editing give the landscape of Three Forks a whole new feeling. All of the images in Elevated are printed in black and white, giving the spectral light cast from the mountains a particularly ghostly feel. The white from the birch trees glow brightly in contrast with the dark shadows from the storm clouds looming above them. Printed on large scale plexiglass canvas, it’s easy for the viewer to become immersed in each story-like scene.
For her first gallery exhibition Millich says that she was grateful to have chosen Duggal as her print source stating that, “I trusted them to help me with this project and my visual consultant Hope Savvides was there for every step of the process.” The images were printed using Duggal’s exclusive HD C-print technology, fundamental in creating their sharp and hyper-realistic quality.
She emphasises that her editing was light-handed, explaining that “The clouds really did hover over the trees that closely. It’s easy to think that this is a special effect, but it was real. You have to suspend your disbelief when looking at these images.”
The images were on display at Studios LIC in New York through October 14th and Mara is currently accepting inquires to show at new galleries in 2016. She will be moving to Colorado this year, and says she plans to continue to add to this series. For more information on Millich’s work and upcoming shows please visit her website at http://maravallee.com/.